No one is excited about globalization anymore. From social networks to environmental awareness and food culture, our interest in all things local has increased exponentially. Paris is one of the most important cities that firmly preserves its essence and is followed with envy in the global world with its local businesses and brands.
Paris is a city you will never get tired of visiting, discovering new places and enjoying new tastes every time. Moreover, if the season is spring, I would say create a reason for yourself to go to Paris right away. I’ve stayed in many hotels in Paris so far, but recently my favorite is Shangri-La Paris, just across from the Palais de Tokyo.
Özlem Avcıoğlu is in the lobby of the historical Shangri-La hotel.
Built as a house in Trocadero, one of the most beautiful areas of the city, by Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte, in 1896, the palatial building was restored by architect Richard Martinet and started to serve as the first European hotel of the Shangri-La group, preserving its historical splendor. I’ve been lucky enough to have a suite with a terrace overlooking the Eiffel twice at the hotel, which has a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. Avenue Montaigne is currently the most enjoyable hotel in Paris for me, with its location within walking distance of the Champs Elysees and its excellent breakfast including dim sum, which I love very much. Shang Palace, one of the best Chinese restaurants in the world, is also in this hotel. If you want to taste Chinese cuisine for a night in Paris, your choice should definitely be here. The newly opened Hotel Le Cheval Blanc in Paris has suddenly become a favorite of the city. It has brought a new breath to Paris, especially with its location right on the Seine River and its restaurants.
Paris is one of the best art centers in the world in my opinion. There are always very good exhibits at the Louis Vuitton Foundation designed by Frank Gehry and the Fondation Cartier designed by Jean Nouvel. Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide’s Heliotropo 37 exhibition is at Fondation Cartier until May 29. Palais de Tokyo and Center Pompidou are among the museums I definitely visit. Take a look at the galleries on the Rue de Seine in Saint Germain. The area where François Pinault’s private collection was exhibited was the Bourse de Commerce, the historical stock exchange building of Paris. Famous architect Tadao Ando designed a central cylinder for the exhibition areas of the new museum, which is attached to the existing structure. The building, which is considered a historical monument, has been completely restored in accordance with the original, including the dome. As soon as you enter the domed Bourse de Commerce building with a circular plan, Urs Fisher’s magnificent and very impressive wax installation welcomes you. On the other floors, impressive works of all valuable artists are exhibited.
One of the two addresses for contemporary art is the Fondation Cartier and the newly opened Bourse de Commerce. La Samaritaine, the luxury shopping mall with its renovated new building, and Hôtel Le Cheval Blanc, the hippest hotel in the city. How Paris preserves its historical texture so well and at the same time is always up-to-date, always the newest, most modern, is impossible to understand.
Urs Fisher’s installation in the Bourse de Commerce building
Right next to the Bourse de Commerce is La Samaritaine store, built in 1869 and recently restored and reopened. In the building, where all kinds of products appealing to the middle class were sold in the past, only luxury brands are currently sold. It’s not very rich in options, so my favorite is still Bon Marche. I also like to shop at small boutiques such as Moss, Dries Van Noten and Golden Goose on the streets of Saint Germain. Palais de Royal and Le Marais are the districts I visit for shopping.
Le Marais district
Le Marais is a lively and lively neighborhood that makes you feel the sweet chaos of Paris. Rue des Rosiers (Rose Tree Street), located in the heart of the district, is still the center of the Parisian Jewish community. A bookstore that sells only Hebrew books, falafel kiosks with long queues in front of it, Picasso Museum, synagogue and the most fashionable concept shops of the city are side by side.
An Exclusive PRIZE
L’Oiseau Blanc, the gourmet French restaurant on the terrace of The Peninsula Paris, offering a unique view of the Paris skyline, is happy to receive its first star awarded by the Michelin Guide. The restaurant offers a contemporary reinterpretation of classical techniques and traditional dishes, while remaining true to the traditions of French cuisine. From classic flavors you never get tired of to bolder contemporary creations, the team at L’Oiseau Blanc promises the delicacy of flavors, the delicacy of textures and the exact balance of the senses to create an unforgettable dining experience, without omitting the principles of traditional French cuisine.
My Restaurant Picks
The Michelin-starred Shang Palace in Shangri-La Paris, with its Hong Kong culinary team, is an address not to be missed by those who love Chinese cuisine. Le Deux Magots, L’Avenue and Café de Flore are timeless places that never lose their charm, where I can sit and take a breather for a coffee between sightseeing.
Another restaurant that I will definitely go to is LouLou, which stands out with its magnificent terrace, located next to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in the garden of the Louvre. LouLou is popular both day and night with Joseph Dirand’s elegant decoration and delicious food. The truffle pizza is incredibly delicious.
Balagan Paris is an Israeli restaurant that is both delicious and fun. The music is as good as the food. Mun, which has just opened on the Champs Elysees for lunch, is the most difficult restaurant to find a place in recent times with its interior design and terrace. Offering Asian cuisine, Giraffe is the last favorite of the Paris Society group, which also owns well-known restaurants such as Monsieur Bleu, opened in the summer of 2021. Make sure to make your reservation in advance. Café Lapérouse, located in the newly renovated Hôtel de la Marine, is the most popular address for breakfast and lunch meetings. One of the investors of the project is Antoine Arnault, a board member of the LVMH group and CEO of Berluti. That’s why Louis Vuitton’s dinner parties were held here during Paris Fashion Week.
Located inside the Palais de Chaillot, Giraffe impresses me with its art deco interior design, very delicious seafood-based menu and its magnificent terrace overlooking the Eiffel. I recommend it for lunch and dinner.
PARIS DOESN’T END WITH TELLING. I TOLD MYSELF; BUT I’M SURE EVERYONE HAS ITS OWN PARIS.
Article: Özlem Avcıoğlu
Taken from ELLE Turkey March 2022 issue.